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Off topic: April Fool's Tradition - Its Popularity in English Speaking Countries
Thread poster: Hipyan Nopri

Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 06:38
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Apr 5, 2007

Hello Fellow Translators,

I am interested to post this thread for curiosity associated with the recent seemingly-successful April Fool's joke posted by one of our fellow translators.

Initially, I almost believed in the story, but my critical thinking said it must be a lie (may be for joking) for two reasons: 1. there is no link to the news, and 2. there is no response from site staff to the seemingly-important matter.

Frankly, before the thread posting I was not familiar with the existence of the tradition altogether. It seems to me that it is a kind of lie that is intended to joke - lying for joking.

Is this tradition really popular among the people of English speaking countries?
What are the possible advantages/disadvantages?
Who are the victims? Should it be confined to friends, or may it be sent to parents, for example?
What are the limitations to define acceptability of an April Fool's joke to differentiate a joking-lie and a real lie?

Thank you very much for your enlightening comments.:):):)

Warm Regards

Hipyan

[Edited at 2007-04-05 02:54]

[Edited at 2007-04-05 03:07]

[Edited at 2007-04-05 03:08]


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Not only in English speaking countries Apr 5, 2007

Hello Hipyan,

This tradition with making jokes on April 1st can be found not only in the English speaking countries, but as a matter of fact in most European countries.

Have a look here for a general explanation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fool's_Day

In Sweden, for example, on April 1st every decent newspaper has an article about some fantastic invention (machines etc) or some discovery (secret medieval tunnels etc) and often invite their readers to meet at certain place on a given time where there will be a guide to explain this invention/discovery etc. Of course there are also photographers from the newspaper who will take snapshots of those fools

One of the best hoaxes ever:

[Quote]

In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that thanks to a newly developed technology, all viewers could now quickly and easily convert their existing sets to display color reception. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen, and they would begin to see their favorite shows in color. Stensson then proceeded to demonstrate the process. Reportedly, hundreds of thousands of people, out of the population of seven million, were taken in. Actual color tv transmission only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.

[Quote end]

You can find this hoax and many more in this list:
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

Kind regards
Erik


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:38
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Let me add another Swedish one (best ever) Apr 5, 2007

In the 1950-ies the student amaterur diving club members at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm prepared a foundation of stone on the bottom of one of the bays in the middle of Stockholm where the archipelago steamers had their quay-berths.
The owner of the steamers was (and is) a company with the name of Waxholmsbolaget (The Waxholm company) who
sported a big 'W' on both sides of the blue-yellow band of their funnel.

So:
The students manufactured a fake funnel, painted the blue-yellow band (Swedish national colours) with a the black 'W's on it.

At 2 a.m they then transported the funnel to the bay and placed it on the foundation.
The fake funnel was thus shooting out above the water surface enough so that the well-known 'W' on the blue-yellow field was clearly visible.
Then the called the night editor of 2 Stockholm newspapers telling them that something terrible had happened in the bay:

"A Waxholm steamhas sunk in the Nybro Bay".

Photographs and reporters were alerted and rushed to the scene to document this tragedy.
The fire brigade diver section also arrived in full harness to see whom the could save down there.
They seriously considered to sue the student union for damages but the merry laughter from the whole country stopped them from doing it.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:38
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Best joke this year: NO joke at all! Apr 5, 2007

The biggest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat surprised us readers this year on April 1. There was no April's fool's joke at all.

Other newspaper in Finland though had invented lots of jokes. But in Sweden Dagens Nyheter wrote, that because of the new regulations regarding energy consumption people would have to keep their summer vacations in Winter, unless they registrate with www.eurosemester.se. Registration was restricted to 1. April of course.

I once heard, that in Estonia on April 1. newspaper publish only false news, but I haven't been able to confirm this. It is quite believable though, Estonians have a fantastic sence of humour.

Regards
Heinrich


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:38
Italian to English
This year is the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC's legendary... Apr 5, 2007

... spaghetti harvest.

Giles


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:38
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
False news? Apr 5, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

The biggest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat surprised us readers this year on April 1. There was no April's fool's joke at all.

Other newspaper in Finland though had invented lots of jokes. But in Sweden Dagens Nyheter wrote, that because of the new regulations regarding energy consumption people would have to keep their summer vacations in Winter, unless they registrate with www.eurosemester.se. Registration was restricted to 1. April of course.

I once heard, that in Estonia on April 1. newspaper publish only false news, but I haven't been able to confirm this. It is quite believable though, Estonians have a fantastic sence of humour.

Regards
Heinrich


Ah, Heinrich, isn't most of the "news" false news every day of the year, not just on 1st April?
Cynically,
Jenny.


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casey
United States
Local time: 19:38
Member
Japanese to English
Ha, ha. Apr 6, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Ah, Heinrich, isn't most of the "news" false news every day of the year, not just on 1st April?
Cynically,
Jenny.


My sentiments, exactly.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:38
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
The most incredible stories Apr 6, 2007

On April 1, one of the newspapers in my German home town used to (I don't know whether they still do it...) print the most incredible stories on their front page, all of them true but one. And it was a lot of fun trying to find out which were true and which was the April Fools story.

One of my favorite stories is this one:

(first some background info:
Wuppertal is a city in Nordrhine-Westfalia in Germany and lies in the rather steep and narror valley (Tal) of the river Wupper. Already in 1900, a suspension railroad was built with its tracks running for about 10 kilometers at a height of 12 meters above the river.)

On July 21, 1950, a circus used the suspension railroad to transport its elefant between two stops. This was supposed to be a big marketing event and attract lots of vistors to their shows. However, the elefant panicked, jumped out of a window and fell into the river. He miraculously wasn't seriously injured. However, the reporters on board panicked as well and got injured.

What do you think? True or false?


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Clara Duarte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:38
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Hmm... Apr 9, 2007

False?

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